Kia Niro (2016) Review

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Kia Niro (2016) At A Glance


+Easy to drive. Impressive fuel economy and low running costs. Space for a family. 450 litre load area.

-Ride quality is sometimes unsettled over country roads.

New prices start from £30,265, brokers can source from £20,988
Insurance Groups are between 11–15
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

It might look like any other crossover, but the Kia Niro is a hybrid, much like a Toyota Prius. That means it has a high driving position and plenty of space for a family, but it's also economical, with low emissions and impressive economy in real world driving.

Power comes from the combination of a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 44PS electric motor, with a total output of 141PS and 265Nm of torque. Official economy is 74.3mpg and emissions are 88g/km, with no plugging in necessary. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard, as opposed to a CVT like the Prius.

The result is a driving experience that will feel more familiar to drivers used to a conventional automatic transmission or a manual gearbox. In fact, the Niro just feels like any other car for the most part, particularly out of town, where it's easy to drive and very comfortable. 

It can operate on electricity alone under some circumstances, such as at low speeds in traffic or when cruising at a steady speed. However, most of the time the engine needs to be working. Fortunately, while it is audible, it’s only really noticeable when accelerating very hard for overtakes or joining motorways.

If you can charge a car at home, there's also a plug-in hybrid model, with an official 36-mile range under electric power alone. The PHEV is only available in one trim level, the 3, meaning it's well equipped but also quite expensive.

Aside from the hybrid system, the Niro is very much like any other crossover. It’s spacious, comfortable and comes with plenty of modern technology, including standard-fit lane keep assist, Bluetooth and cruise control plus, on mid-grade ‘2’ versions, there is navigation and smartphone mirroring through Android Auto.

Space in the back is adequate even for adults, while the boot is a perfectly decent 421 litres, expandable to 1425 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Like all crossovers it has a fairly high load deck compared to hatchbacks, but that’s par for the course and the Niro is no worse than anything else.

If space, performance and convenience technology matter more to you than running cost then there are better choices, including Kia's own Sportage. But the Niro's ease of use, low running costs and impressive economy make it a great alternative to petrol or diesel-powered crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai or the SEAT Ateca - just be prepared to pay a small premium for its hybrid system. 

Looking for a Kia Niro (2016 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Kia Niro (2016)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

42–70 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

I need a comfortable and relaxing car - should I choose electric or hybrid?
"I want to buy a new automatic car and will consider electric or hybrid models. I often travel, for pleasure, 100 - 200 miles a day. I have increasing mobility problems with arthritis in the lower half of my body, so comfort is paramount. I need a high seating position and heated front seats with as much adjustability as possible in all dimensions. What do you recommend?"
Take a look at the Kia Niro. It's available as a hybrid or electric model, with comfortable seats and a high seating position. With its 62kWh battery, the e-Niro can officially travel up to 282 miles between charges, although expect slightly less than this in reality (especially over winter). The Hyundai Kona Electric is also worth a look, or the new hybrid Toyota Yaris Cross.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Could you recommend a plug-in hybrid that can tow a small trailer?
"I tow a small trailer, which I use to transport horse muck, firewood, pallets etc with my 2011 Mini Countryman diesel. I was looking to replace it with a 2020 Mini Countryman SE PHEV but found out you can't fit a towbar to that vehicle because the batteries are located in the boot area. Can you suggest a hybrid that will allow me to fit a towbar to continue to protect the interior of my replacement - preferably PHEV as we have solar panels and are retired so could charge in the day? We need it to be a crossover/small SUV style as advancing years precludes saloons."
As you're finding, there aren't many plug-in hybrids that can tow a significant weight. We'd recommend a Kia Niro PHEV, though. It can officially tow a braked trailer weighing up to 1300kg, which should be sufficient for your needs. Also consider the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with its 1500kg towing capacity.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I do very low mileage. Should I get a diesel or hybrid?
"I'm looking to change my car (petrol Nissan Qashqai) to an automatic as I do around 3000 miles a year, mostly town driving and the odd motorway trip. My wife is disabled with hip problems so I need something she would be able to get in and out of easily. I've been looking at a Skoda Superb diesel as it has loads of room in it for her and family. Also looking at a Toyota Prius as I was told a hybrid might be better for my mileage. Can you give me any advice as to what cars I should be looking at? Thanks for your help."
Avoid diesels – they're not suited to low annual mileages or regular short journeys, so you'll only have trouble. A petrol or hybrid would be a better option. A crossover SUV like your Qashqai might be the best option for your wife to get in and out of. We'd recommend a Skoda Kamiq or the bigger Karoq. If you'd prefer a hybrid, consider a Kia Niro.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What hybrids offer a high seating position?
"Can you recommend a hybrid car with high seating?"
We'd recommend a Kia Niro or Honda Jazz. Both are very good hybrid vehicles that will be cheap to run and have high seating positions.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Kia Niro (2016) cost?

Buy new from £20,988 (list price from £25,355)